Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Can't Quit Now


Last Monday, a guy dressed in his best Hawaiian shirt walks up to the counter at the café and asks to see the boss. It is my day off, so of course I am there. Guy says he’s got over twenty years cooking experience, owned his own café for five years, and wants to know if I’m hiring.

Hardly able to control my gleeful giggle, I say "I’m always hiring" and hand him an application.

He goes away and comes back with the ap all filled out. He has references. He has a consistent work history going back a decade. The last place he worked, he was at for over two years.

He is not 17 ½ years old.

And he really wants to work at my café.

I keep thinking he can’t be for real. I give myself monstrous bruises from pinching myself so much.

I try for five days to find time in a crazy busy week to interview this guy. I finally sit down with him on Saturday after closing. We talk for 2 ½ hours.

I finally ask him, "When can you start?"

"Tomorrow," says he.

"Okay. Tomorrow it is."

Sunday morning, my assistant cook—the only other cook on the payroll—calls in sick. New cook, on his first day, bails my ass out big time. This is a man who knows what a spatula is, and is not afraid to use it.

So now, in place of Flaky Cook, who never in her tenure with me managed a forty-hour week, did not want to work nights, and was not too keen on working weekends, I have a guy who is begging me for any and all hours I will give him. "Can you give me forty hours?" 

"Are you kidding?"

This, I guess,  is why I have no intention of cutting my losses, getting out and retaining whatever little bit of sanity I still have lurking in the back of my mind.  Yet.  Every time I think I’ve reached the absolute extremity of my endurance, the Almighty throws me a bone.

How can I not hang in there to see what’s at the bottom of the next barrel?

No comments: